Long-time Soil and Water member feted at final meeting

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Michael Paduchak has been a steady and guiding presence for nearly three decades at the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District.

He is pictured around noon today with cupcakes and a candle for his 89th birthday. He is joined by Ed Morgan (left) the Soil and Water board chairman, and Dennis Kirby, manager of Soil and Water.

Paduchak is a former Kendall town supervisor and member of the former Orleans County Board of Supervisors. He has been well-connected in the county. He also was a fruit farmer until about a year ago.

He brought those farming and local government ties to Soil and Water, including a tenure as the board’s chairman. Today he attended his final meeting with the organization.

Paduchak turned 89 on Monday. He appreciated the opportunity to serve on the board, and attended many regional and state association meetings. He also supported the agency’s efforts in recent years to bring in grants for farmers to utilize environmentally friendly practices.

“We always valued his input,” said Ed Morgan, the board’s current chairman. “He’s an asset and he still contributes. I like and I respect him. He has a lot of wisdom.”

Paduchak said he is grateful for a full life after several narrow scrapes with death during World War II while fighting in France and Germany with the Army.

“I had a guardian angel along the way,” Paduchak said.

He said Soil and Water has benefitted from many dedicated staff members through the years.

“The personnel has been good to carry out our wishes,” he said.